MGT636: Operations Management and Decisions

Course Outlines


Russell, R., and Taylor, B. (2010), Operations Management, 7th edition, John Wiley ,ISBN: 978-0470525906.

Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs)

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the concepts of operations management and recognize the current trends in operations and project management
  2. Analyze operations strategies and issues involved in designing products, processes, and services
  3. Design supply chains and recognize the role of information systems in business operations
  4. Employ decision models and techniques in business operations

Lecture Notes


Video/Cases/ Discussion Questions

  • Chapter 1
    Amazon Operations– Pathways Leadership Development Program (MBA)
    Discussion questions
    1. What constitutes operations for your organization of which you are a member, or your place of business?
    2. From your travels, what differences have you encountered in the goods or services provided? Think about how companies doing business in different countries need to adjust their operations.
    3. As an employee or a consumer, what aspects of operations do you encounter? How do they relate to the “primary topics” in operations discussed in the chapter?
    4. Think of a decision you’ve had to make recently. It could be what university to attend, or which car you choose.  We usually think in terms of alternatives, but not necessarily in states of nature. What states of nature would affect a decision on your purchase?
  • Chapter 4
    ABC Nightline – IDEO Shopping Cart
    Discussion questions
    1. With all the advancements in technology in design, it should be difficult to buy a bad product. Do you agree with this statement? What are your candidates for bad design? Make a list of the factors that make a design unworkable. Compare your list with your classmates. Are there commonalities among them?  Circulate your list so that a consensus can be reached on what makes a bad design.
    2. Construct a perceptual map for a local restaurant. Label the axes with the dimensions you feel are most relevant. Circulate your map so that it can be compared to others.
    3. Everyone is going green, it seems. What makes a design green? Discuss the types of products you would buy green, and those you would not.
  • Chapter 5
    David Kelley: The future of design is human-centered
    Discussion questions
    1. When would a first-come, first-served (FCFS) rule for queue discipline would not be appropriate? Should such problems be analyzed by waiting line analysis, or by some other model?
    2. Are there some services that you are willing to wait for more than others? Why? What is the longest amount of time you have waited for a service? At what point would you leave a queue because the wait has been too long?
    3. Determine if each of the following is a single- or multiple-server, and single- or multiple phase service. Indicate the queue discipline, speculate about appropriate distributions for arrivals and service, and indicate whether the calling population is infinite or finite.
a)      Hair salon d)   Bank g)  Laundromat
b)      Doctor’s office e)   Adviser’s office h)  Airport runway
c)       Team trainer f)  Copy center i)  Service station
  • Chapter 6
    Learn how the Tcho chocolate factory uses apps and technology to enjoy the sweet taste of success:
    Discussion questions
    1. Look at the tag on your shirt. Where was it made? How many different countries are represented on the tags in the classroom? Why are so many companies outsourcing now? Does it make any difference to you where a product is made?
    2. The product-process matrix shows the basic types of product processes of Project, Batch, Mass, and Continuous along the diagonal of the matrix. Are there exceptions? Are there, for example, low-volume operators that choose to mass produce? Or high volume products that are produced in batch?  Are there plants with very high standardization that choose project manufacturing, and thrive with it?  What are the circumstances that lead organizations to successfully choose processes off the diagonal?
  • Chapter 7
    Southwest Airlines Day in the Life of A 25 Minute Turn
    Discussion questions
    1. Based on your visit to a local fast food restaurant (McDonald’s, Burger King, and Jasmis, etc.), how do their layouts differ? Which appears to be most efficient? Why
    2. Consider a typical supermarket (Carrefour, Geant, Lulu, MegaMart, etc.). What departments tend to be adjacent to one another? What departments tend to be distant from one another? How are the stores laid out similarly?  How are they different?
  • Chapter 9
    Computer Lab: Developing a Project Plan with Microsoft Project
  1. What you see when you open MS Project 2013
  2. How to create a WBS
  3. How to code a WBS
  4. Manual Scheduling vs Auto Scheduling
  5. How to Enter Estimated Duration
  6. How to Use the Yellow Sticky Approach to Map Out a Network
  7. How to enter predecessor information to create a project schedule
  8. How to change a timescale
  9. Formatting a Gantt chart
  • Chapter 10
    What is Supply Chain Management?
    Supply Chain Management For A Better World
    Research questions
    1. Purchasing is a trade magazine with articles that include many examples of supply chain management at various companies. Research an article from Purchasing and write a brief paper on a company reporting on its Supply Chain activities similar to the “Along the Supply Chain” boxes in this chapter.
    2. Transportation & Distribution is a trade magazine that focuses on supply chain management, especially logistics. In fact, its Web site is The magazine includes numerous articles reporting on companies’ experiences with supply chain management. Select an article from Transportation & Distribution and write a brief paper similar to “Along the Supply Chain” boxes in this chapter about a scientific company’s supply chain management.
  • Chapter 13
    SAP Inventory Manager
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